The COVID-19 pandemic has been wreaking havoc both in the US and globally. That means quite a few people have fallen victim to the virus and are now looking to change careers.
As someone who’s looking for a job amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it might be everything but easy to find employment.
After all, the number of people that have lost their income source in the US soared to a record high in 2020 since the Great Depression in the 1930s. That means the competition in the job market has grown quite stiff.
But—all is not lost. Below are four things that might be hurting your job search and what you can do to fix them.
- Not Customizing Your Resume.
When it comes to the early stages of the recruitment process, your resume plays a crucial part. In fact, it needs to be topnotch if you want to register on a recruiter’s radar.
The most important thing is to always tailor your resume to each and every job you apply for. That’s because most employers recieve around 250+ applications in response to a single job ad.
Naturally, it’s impossible to go through them all, so most companies will use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to pre-screen candidates. In essence, it means AI-driven robots will check your application to see if you’re a good candidate by comparing your resume to the job description and, ultimately, give you a match score. If the score is below a certain point, an actual human may never lay eyes on your application.
So—spare no effort in making your resume as good as you possibly can and tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for.
Need some pointers?
- Check the job description and note down the keywords related to responsibilities, required experience, and skills.
- Pepper the exact keywords you found throughout your resume where it’s appropriate without going overboard.
Once you’ve done it, you’ll become an ATS’ best friend and, as a result, improve your application success rate.
- Not Writing a Cover Letter
You might have heard that cover letters are becoming a thing of the past. While it’s true that some recruiters will make do without you attaching a cover letter, you’ll likely lose an opportunity to rise above the noise and effectively win some brownie points right from the get-go.
That’s because writing a cover letter demonstrates to employers you’ve willing to walk the extra mile to get your foot in the door, which in the end, might help tip the scales in your favor (especially if your resume isn’t the perfect match for the position.)
So—if you don’t want to lower your chances of landing an in-person interview, always attach a cover letter to your application, unless, of course, the job description says you shouldn’t.
Also, just like with resumes, it’s a good idea to ATS-tweak your cover letter. Scan the job ad for the most critical keywords and sprinkle your cover letter with those before hitting “Send.”
- Not Having a Robust LinkedIn Profile
So far so good.
Most recruiters should be impressed with your application.
But—40 percent of them might never call you back if you don’t have a substantial LinkedIn presence. So visit your LinkedIn profile and ensure it’s well-optimized and, most importantly, goes hand-in-hand with whatever you’ve stated in your resume.
For starters, get a custom LinkedIn profile URL. It’ll look good in your resume’s contact information section.
Next, it won’t hurt to signal to recruiters you’re actively looking for a job. Navigate to the “Career interests” bar in your profile and flip the switch from “Off” to “On.” It’ll help you pop up in search when recruiters seek potential hires. On top of that, be sure to list up to five job titles you’re interested in, your preferred locations, job types (e.g., part-time vs. full-time), and start date.
Lastly, fill out all the sections of your profile with relevant information. For help, check this guide.
- Not Knowing What to Do
As mentioned earlier, the COVID-19 pandemic has been wreaking havoc both in the US and globally. That means quite a few people have fallen victim to the virus and are now looking to change careers.
Many working professionals have to bounce back emotionally and, most importantly, professionally to sustain amid today’s challenging climate.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to get back on track.
If you’re looking to switch industries or roles in the COVID economy, at least two occupations will make for reliable career paths: administrative assistant and customer service specialist.
Why are these jobs any good?
For starters, the above professions remain popular in the US despite the wrecked economy and are likely to stay in demand for the foreseeable future. Second, customer service and administrative jobs have a reasonably low threshold because they mostly require soft skills (e.g., time management, communication, problem-solving.) Hence, regardless of your former occupation, there’s a good chance you’ll find new part-time employment in an administrative or customer service roles and regain your steady income.